Here are four habits to take into consideration if you are struggling along your wellness journey. Regardless of your goal, these habits will help you create momentum. This is by no means a complete list but something that stands out to me. In my humble opinion, I believe we put too much emphasis on 'fancy' systems and programs. The reality is the journey isn't 'sexy' or 'flashy'. Creating transformation consists of a small key habits that are executed with consistency day in and day out. Most of these areas are overlooked and underappreciated but have the capacity to create that wellness momentum that we are all looking for.
Eat 80% of your foods from whole, natural, nutrient dense sources. These foods are usually sources with 7 ingredients or less. The rest of the 20% can come from foods that are typically more desirable (chocolate, pizza, ice cream). Eating 80/20 is a great habit to develop because it controls cravings. It also helps create a sustainable, enjoyable nutrition approach. If you can become consistent with 80/20 the results will play out over time.
Consume at least one handful of fruits and or vegetables with each meal. Stay away from dried or frozen fruits/vegetables. Instead, consume fresh natural sources. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables have many benefits. First and foremost, these sources have plenty of micronutrients which help promote internal health (hormone, cellular, brain function). Furthermore, these foods have a high fiber content and contain relatively low amounts of calories. This is extremely useful when losing weight because these foods promote a caloric deficit without having to feel miserable and deprived.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day (generally 1/2 bodyweight in ounces + 8-16 ounces per hour of physical activity) as this will help keep you full as well as promote internal health. Drinking water throughout the day will help with absorbing food, promoting proper digestion, and aid in flushing out toxins. Furthermore, water helps keep you full and satisfied throughout the day. This is extremely beneficial regardless of whether you are losing fat or gaining muscle.
Pick four or five go-to food combinations that you enjoy that contain quality food sources. Use these meals regularly throughout the week as this will make transformation journeys a lot more simple. When you eat similar meals throughout the week you develop an eye for portion sizes, macronutrients, and overall calories. Especially when you are tracking calories, this makes things less complicated because the meals are saved into the app database (so you don't have to continually look up foods). I like to stick to the 5 S's. Those being: salads, soups, stir-frys, shakes, and scrambles. I've found that these combinations allow for plenty of variety and contain higher amounts of fiber/micronutrients while containing lower amounts of calories (depending on the chef).
These habits are common among successful people in the fitness community. If you find that you are struggling along your fitness journey, set aside the next four months. Pick one habit and really focus on it for a month. Once you have a mastered it, move on to the next month and start developing habit number two. Complete these steps until you have all four habits under your belt. A big myth with creating wellness results is unlimited willpower and discipline. Most people think you need high amounts of these factors in order to see results. I would challenge this notion because will power, discipline, and motivation ebbs and flows. The 'secret' isn't to extend high amounts of these factors day in and day out but to channel all willpower and discipline towards one habit. Once that habit is mastered it runs on limited will-power (mostly autopilot) so we are able to devote the remaining will power to the next habit. It is precisely this process that creates sustainable, long-term results. If you have any specific questions please reach out to me. I would love to help you troubleshoot any problems or barriers in your individual lifestyle. Your best is yet to come!